Anxious and Stressed
I just turned 45 years old this month. My doctor had ordered a mammogram in April (my first). Admittedly, I was not excited about this prospect, so I wasn't eager to have it done. When I went to make my appt (July 24), it was a good 3 month wait now that everyone is playing catch up due to Covid. On July 9, I was getting ready for work and discovered a hard lump in my left breast. I immediately contacted my doctor who then sent over an amended RX for a diagnostic mammogram w/ultrasound. I contacted the imaging center to make sure they had the updated order and was told I couldn't keep my July 24 appt because it was a different test with different availability. At first they tried to tell me I would have to wait till September. Fortunately, I was able to get an appt on August 6.
I went in to the mammogram already knowing about the lump in the left breast. I was hoping and praying it would just be a cyst or something simple and be done with it. The tech doing the ultrasound took the images to the radiologist right then and came back to inform me that he wants to do a biopsy of the left breast, but he was sending me back for more images on the right side as well. Needless to say, this sent me into a panic. I wasn't prepared for there to be any issues with the right side. So, I go back to get more images of the right breast and they take it to him for review again. The tech came back and told me that they saw some calcifications that were concerning and that they wanted to do a biopsy of the right breast as well, just to be safe. Now, this could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. I'm a naturally curious person and I like to research. The imaging center I go to has a patient portal where I can see the images and read the radiologists report.
I got a call from my doctor to make sure that the biopsies were scheduled, but told me this is common and I shouldn't worry. A few days later, I check back on the imaging portal and see the radiologists report (that was sent to my doctor) and this is what it said, "Highly suspicious left breast mass and right breast calcifications.", "Ultrasound: Left 2 o'clock 10 cm from the nipple demonstrates a hypoechoic irregular 3.2 x 3.2 x 2.5 cm mass. This is highly suspicious.", "The breasts are extremely dense, which lowers the sensitivity of mammography", and "BI-RADS Category 5: Highly suggestive of malignancy." Unless the radiologist is really bad at his job, I don't see how this could be so common and nothing to worry about. Seems like there could be quite a bit to worry about.
So, I am scheduled for next Tuesday, August 17 to have an ultrasound guided Core biopsy of the left breast and a mammogram guided stereotactic biopsy of the right breast. Then of course after all that I have to wait some more to find out if it's positive for negative. In the meantime, I've been researching (even though people told me not to, but I can't help it) and what I've found does not bode well. I'm equal parts anxious, terrified, and stressed out about all of it. I work full time and take care of my mom who has her own health issues and doesn't drive. I just want it to be over with already. I want to know what's happening and if there's something to really worry about. I know I will kick myself later (but shout for joy) if it all comes out negative, and I've been stressing myself out for nothing. But what if it's positive? I don't know how I'm going to do this financially, emotionally, physically, etc. Sorry for this to be so long, but I haven't really talked to anyone other than my mom about all of this, and I think the waiting is putting a strain on her too.
Thank you for reading.